During March, students of Debney Meadows Primary School in Flemington took part in Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Meet a Lifeguard Program which educates participants on how to be safe at beaches and around waterways.
Debney Meadows has a high population of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) students (95%+). Many are refugees or have only recently arrived in Australia, most with little knowledge about water safety.
LSV Multicultural Projects Coordinator Blair Morton said the program, in this instance a classroom incursion, was vital in helping to address Victoria’s rising drowning toll.
“The aim of our program is to educate CALD students about water safety and to build participation and inclusion of CALD youth within the aquatic industry.
“Approximately 40 students took part in the program and learnt about the role of lifesavers, the importance of swimming between the red and yellow flags, how to help a friend and rip awareness.
“Students were also shown examples of CALD role models in the aquatic industry and the pathways for them to be involved in the industry themselves,” said Mr Morton.
Having worked with Victoria’s various multicultural communities for more than 10 years, LSV has developed a range of water safety and swimming programs and deliver vital skills relevant to all stages of settlement. In particular, the early stages when participants are most vulnerable.
Programs include classroom education, beach education, regional and inland waterway excursion and swimming courses.
For more information about LSV’s multicultural water safety programs, visit: www.lsv.com.au/multicultural